The exhibition includes Calatrava’s preliminary watercolor sketches of Wave, the University’s landmark 40-by-90-foot perpetually moving sculpture installed in 2002 on the Museum’s street-level plaza. The exhibition also includes correspondence, mementoes and photographs of the sculpture’s installation and dedication.
“Over the past decade, Calatrava and SMU have built a deep relationship,” says Meadows Museum Director Mark Roglán. “It is now our great pleasure to extend this relationship to the people of Dallas as we join them in celebrating the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Our exhibition will offer visitors a unique view of the artist behind the bridge and illustrate the many ties that bind him to SMU.”
On March 3, 2012, Calatrava will return to SMU to see the exhibition and the 2009 renovation of the Meadows Museum Plaza and Sculpture Garden near “Wave.” The plaza’s southwest corner includes a new terrace, the Irwin Overlook, with a view over the sculpture.
Get a complete rundown of the University’s participation in the weekend’s events from SMU News’s Calatrava homepage at smu.edu/calatrava.
The center will initially focus on West Dallas, an impoverished area west of downtown where just 33 percent of residents over the age of 18 have high school diplomas. However, the intent is to establish a far-reaching model to impact other communities locally and nationally.
The partnership is a natural step for the coalition created in 2004 to develop solutions to poverty, says former coalition executive director Regina Nippert, now executive director of SMU’s Center on Communities and Education. In 2008 the coalition narrowed its focus to West Dallas schools. The partnership with the Simmons School provides new educational resources for West Dallas children.
“Our goal remains the same,” Nippert says. “Close the education gap in West Dallas by building a thriving education ecosystem – an integrated network of high-performing schools and nonprofits that together weave a safety net so tight that kids can’t fall through the cracks on their way to a college-ready education.”
SMU’s Center on Communities and Education is the backbone organization for the School Zone, which supports collaboration between 10 West Dallas public schools and 20 nonprofit agencies. The School Zone provides:
Parent training and early childhood development programs
In-school programs such as college readiness and teacher training
After-school homework assistance, college awareness, mentoring and arts programming
Creating successful schools is key to fighting area poverty, says David Chard, the Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Simmons School. Through SMU faculty research, as well as student service learning, internships and work-study programs, Simmons School resources can support student progress in West Dallas schools as well as provide opportunities to SMU students and researchers.
“We have great respect for the families, educators and community organizations in West Dallas, and we intend to learn much from them,” Chard says. “Their insights will shape our work in the Simmons School.”